As any seller knows, Amazon is crammed full with not just millions of different products but, millions of different variations of different products. Like in any other kind of store, each product sold on Amazon has its own unique product code (UPC) to help sellers and buyers quickly identify and catalogue each product.
Why do I need to buy UPC codes for Amazon?
If you want to sell a product on Amazon, that product must have a UPC, otherwise it will not be accepted for sale on Amazon.
Amazon recently updated its policy on UPCs which now states that a product’s UPC will automatically be checked against its list of designated brands when a new listing is created and, that a manual check will be undertaken should the seller become under investigation for other misuse or abuse issues.
Amazon checks each UPC against a database provided by GS1(barcode supplier) to determine authenticity. If the UPC does not match the data held by GS1, it will be considered invalid and the listing will be rejected. For this reason, it is vital that any product sold on Amazon holds a current and valid UPC.
Cracking the code
There are a number of different types of code used to identify products for sale in both online and physical stores and it’s important to make sure that you have the right one for your product and for your selling requirements.
UPC codes for Amazon, as mentioned, are universal product codes, more commonly known as barcodes. Each barcode features a strip of black bars, white spaces and 12 numbers. The bars, which correspond directly to the numbers, are scanned in order to identify the product correctly. Most of us have, at one time or another, used self-checkouts at the supermarket and will, therefore, be familiar with the concept of barcodes used for identification and pricing.
GTIN codes are similar to barcodes in that they are globally accepted and use a series of numbers and bars, however, a GTIN code contains 14 numbers. GTIN is also an umbrella term for the family of product codes which includes UPCs.
EAN (European Article Number) codes are standard European barcodes which contain either 12 or 13 numbers as well as the bars. Used widely online, EAN codes are unique in that the identify the product, the manufacturer and attributes of the product.
So, how do I get a UPC code?
UPC codes for Amazon are available from global standards company, GS1. In order to get started, you’ll need to log onto GSI online and become a member. Once your membership application is complete, you’ll be assigned a unique GSI prefix for your company – this will be a series of digits which will be the start of each of your barcodes.
You can then use the online tools to assign GS1 numbers and barcodes to each of the products that you intend to sell. You’ll then be able to use GSI’s online members portal to manage your barcodes and to copy or print them as required. The cost of number and barcode generation ranges from £119 for up to 1000 numbers to £3,200 for up to 100,000 numbers annually.
Where can I buy UPC codes for Amazon?
There are a number of websites that you can buy codes from – it’s important to make sure that you’re buying from a registered and reputable company like the following:
Snap Up is a trusted provider of UPC codes for use on Amazon, ebay and other popular sites. Sellers can buy just one barcode for $5 or multiples for as little as $0.10 per code.
Order Barcode Labels does exactly what it says on the tin – Through the website, Amazon sellers can generate and buy barcodes which are then supplied by post as rolls of labels. Prices range from £15 for 250 labels to £25.50 for 1000 and are available in different sizes and materials, including waterproof.
Buyabarcode.com is, as the name suggests, 100% online and prices start from $75 for one barcode, through to $995 for 200.
Barcodes Mania are, it seems, passionate about barcodes and are also one of the most reasonably priced providers with one barcode starting at just $4.99, rising to $140 for 600.
Another passionate provide, European Barcode Love provides codes for use throughout Europe and prices range from £3.99 for one barcode to £459.99 for 5000.
Last but not least, Coon Rapids based Codeupc.net is a fast online provider with prices from £9.95 for up to 9 barcodes and $900 for 1000.
Whatever you’re planning to sell, make sure your Amazon listing goes without a hitch by making sure that you have the right code for the right product!